About the Loon

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A happy chap who likes a walk every now and then

Thursday, 5 June 2014

THE TGO CHALLENGE 2014.....DAY 5 (Bears, Hikers and a severe lack of woods)

By Definition, you have to live until you die. Better to make that life as complete and enjoyable an experience as possible, in case death is shite, which i expect it will be.
Edinburgh gadgie 1996

Day 5 Loch Treig to Bhienie 17 miles

Three sausage wraps this morning, two for breakfast and one for lunch (im a growing loon after all),  they were ok taste wise,  but It didnt take long to discover that I had picked up the wrong ones in Spean Bridge, I would have been just as well not going shopping and I'm starting to see why i never get invited on the weekly Asda jaunts anymore, (before anyone starts it has nothing to do with all those rangers and celtic cakes being accidently squished....).

Anyway it seems I had picked up richmond Irish skinless sausages, they tasted fine enough, but they were a nightmare to fry off without the skins, chunks of them stuck to everything, by the time they were smothered in brown sauce and wrapped up, they looked like the amputated bits from badly frost bitten toes. Maybe worth taking along a sachet or two of HP if you have any everest plans.

As I was packing up after breakfast, I was rather surprised to see a lad marching past in the corrour direction, he was actually on the railway line, maybe this is the done thing around here but the way I walk, (with my head in another place) the 
Caledonian sleeper would have a fancy new bumper ornament by the time it pulled into Fort William.

A swift and short wee climb from day fours bivi site opened up the views across the moor with corrour station being the odd bit out, a great view and a huge sky that just went on and on forever, corrour and Leum Uilleim always conjour vivid visions of Renton, Sickboy, Spud and rather dirty sheets (more to follow on that, literally).

Lovely light this morning, passing the hostel theres a really bonny view, but it looks like its been placed in midgie heaven. There's a lot of road "improvements" going on here just now with some heavy duty machines preparing the area and tracks for three new hydro projects.

Look at the size of that sky, the start of a pleasant climb away from corrour up to peters rock, again I was feeling really good and thoroughly enjoying the experience, remarkably enough I hadn't seen another challenger since I left last nights spot.

Just about up at Peters rock and pretty much the last climb for a day or so

A few boggy bits on the climb up to Peters rock, nothing major, I actually found the road to the isles route to be some of the most enjoyable underfoot conditions of the whole trip, the glorious weather probably helped.

Peters rock, 29 years old, far to young, I was intrigued and googled it to get the full story, unfortunately the full story will never really be known.

 A carlsberg lunch for me and a new pal, as I went to sit down a wee moose dived into it's wee lodge. I braved the wrath of the rannoch beast and sat down next to it. Boots and socks were quickly removed to get the benefit from the sun and unusually for a lunch stop I got the cooker out and knocked up a fine brew.

Treats today, the extra sausage wrap from breakfast, a spicy salami stick thing and a 6 pack of oreo biscuits, I shared the wholemeal wrap with my wee moose pal, he (or she) seemed to prefer wrap to biscuit crumbs,  its a sad day when even the mice have gone all "health freak".

Everything seems to be going just fine, lovely day and nothing around for miles, well as they say, nothing lasts for ever. Lunch suddenly decided to make a surprise reappearance, just not in the form it went in.

It's very very open up here and the distinct lack of trees doesn't help the modesty situation either. A quick check and there didn't seem to be anyone about (mind you, how many times has "no one around" turned into "furry boots did they all come from" ), clench cheeks, break track, and penguin walk/dash to a big boulder up the hill, how bloody hard is it to get your bergan waist belt unbuckled in these situations, if id had a bowie knife on my hip I would have cut it. Mind you the eventual relief is a wonderfull feeling, even if you cant actually move for ages, your thighs are about to give way and you realise your boulder is in reality an ankle high stone leaving you bare arsed to the world, literally. Thankffully nobody came along the the track and eventually I managed to get going again, albeit with a slightly different gait.

Back down to signs of civilisation again

Just before this pic I scared a couple of capercaillie beside a wee plantation, either scared or they smelt me coming.

Another of those signs, so far I could have walked the entire way by following sign posts, so no maps required in future (except in train station car parks), another great piece of weight management. Rannoch station is just up the road a wee bit, im heading the other way,  down towards Rannoch.

Three miles after reaching the road I came to the general area I had planned to stop, Coille Bhienie. I found a cracking spot well away from the road and right beside the river, I came pretty much face to face with a fox here, beautiful dark red colour, I'd seen more wildlife today, than id seen in the previous four days.

A ready made bath, after getting the tent up it was kit off and get in time, it wasn't to cold, very refreshing and much needed, everything got washed and a much nicer smelling gentleman retired to the tent for a swift glass of red (it was actually a swift swig or four from an old juice bottle). Yellow chicken curry boil in the bag and a tuna and lime foil packet for supper tonight

View from the scarp patio prior to getting the kindle out and zipping up for the night.

Day 5 Thoughts and impressions

I was expecting a wet ground day, it wasn't, in general it was very good underfoot,  that fuckin cuckoo is back, spicy sausage should be included in weight loss programmes. Bergans should have an emergency unbuckle  pull cord fitted.


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